MIDEAST DEBT-Saudi pull-out weakens, doesn't doom IILM sukuk plan

The Kuala Lumpur-based International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM) plans to issue $500 million through its sukuk programme in the second quarter of this year. The long-awaited announcement was overshadowed by the unexpected pull-out of Saudi central bank, selling its shareholding to Qatar and Malaysia. According to industry executives, the pull-out would not necessarily deter Saudi commercial banks from buying the IILM sukuk - and that even if it did, demand in other countries would be more than ample. A key factor will be the yield that the IILM sukuk pays versus the cost of funds at individual banks.